Why Tottenham are signing Paulinho

Corinthians star is an authentic box-to-box specialist, with an imposing physical approach and crucial knack of knowing when to break into the box

The definitive moment in Tottenham Hotspur’s last season, in retrospect, might have been at Loftus Road in January, when Sandro injured his knee and missed the rest of the race for fourth place.

Spurs missed their Brazilian lynchpin just enough that results dropped and they slipped one costly point behind Arsenal.

How, then, to prevent a repeat? They could buy another Brazil midfielder.  Spurs were close to making their first purchase of the summer, with Paulinho seemingly on the brink of a £17million move from Corinthians but it know seems Real Madrid will also make an offer. The 24-year-old is currently playing in the Confederations Cup but after that is set to move to Europe, and has said that he “could not turn down” an offer from Spurs.

Paulinho is not a simple alternative to Sandro, but would certainly help to shoulder the workload in Spurs’ put-upon midfield. He is an authentic box-to-box specialist, with an imposing physical approach and that crucial knack of knowing when to break into the box. Often compared with Frank Lampard, it is his reliability and his goal return that has set him apart for Corinthians and for Brazil.

The heartbeat of the Corinthians team who won the 2011 Brazilian title and then the 2012 Copa Libertadores before beating Chelsea to the Club World Cup, Paulinho certainly comes with a high reputation. Beyond the unique Neymar, Paulinho is widely thought to have been the most consistent player in Brazil over the last year or so.

Of course, not every talented Brazilian player who has come to England has succeeded but there is a robustness about Paulinho which suggests he would settle well. He would certainly combine well with Sandro in a midfield pair. He is more similar in style to Mousa Dembele – although the Belgian seemed to play too many games last year – but a three-man combination of Sandro, Dembele and Paulinho would overload most opponents on both strength and skill. Andre Villas-Boas moved to a 4-3-3 towards the end of last season and that combination would most probably be better than any involving Scott Parker or Tom Huddlestone.

As players always tell us, anything can happen in football, and the deal remains to be finalised, but for a club prone to waiting too long in the transfer market, a swift resolution would be an important and useful start.

Life and Style
The new Windows 10 Start Menu
tech
News
More than 90 years of car history are coming to an end with the abolition of the paper car-tax disc
newsThis and other facts you never knew about the paper circle - completely obsolete today
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedyFirst national survey reveals Britain’s comedic tastes
Arts and Entertainment
Hilary North's 'How My Life Has Changed', 2001
books(and not a Buzzfeed article in sight)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionShame it had to end like that, says Alexander Fury
Arts and Entertainment
Mystery man: Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike in '‘Gone Girl'
films... by the director David Fincher
News
Kim Jong Un gives field guidance during his inspection of the Korean People's Army (KPA) Naval Unit 167
newsSouth Korean reports suggest rumours of a coup were unfounded
Travel
Bruce Chatwin's novel 'On the Black Hill' was set at The Vision Farm
travelOne of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
News
people'I’d rather have Fred and Rose West quote my characters on childcare'
Arts and Entertainment
Gay and OK: a scene from 'Pride'
filmsUS film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
News
people
Life and Style
Magic roundabouts: the gyratory system that has excited enthusiasts in Swindon
motoringJust who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?
Why do we like making lists?

Notes to self: Why do we like making lists?

Well it was good enough for Ancient Egyptians and Picasso...
Hong Kong protests: A good time to open a new restaurant?

A good time to open a new restaurant in Hong Kong?

As pro-democracy demonstrators hold firm, chef Rowley Leigh, who's in the city to open a new restaurant, says you couldn't hope to meet a nicer bunch
Paris Fashion Week: Karl Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'

Paris Fashion Week

Lagerfeld leads a feminist riot on 'Boulevard Chanel'
Bruce Chatwin's Wales: One of the finest one-day walks in Britain

Simon Calder discovers Bruce Chatwin's Wales

One of the finest one-day walks you could hope for - in Britain
10 best children's nightwear

10 best children's nightwear

Make sure the kids stay cosy on cooler autumn nights in this selection of pjs, onesies and nighties
Manchester City vs Roma: Five things we learnt from City’s draw at the Etihad

Manchester City vs Roma

Five things we learnt from City’s Champions League draw at the Etihad
Martin Hardy: Mike Ashley must act now and end the Alan Pardew reign

Trouble on the Tyne

Ashley must act now and end Pardew's reign at Newcastle, says Martin Hardy
Isis is an hour from Baghdad, the Iraq army has little chance against it, and air strikes won't help

Isis an hour away from Baghdad -

and with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

Turner Prize 2014 is frustratingly timid

The exhibition nods to rich and potentially brilliant ideas, but steps back
Last chance to see: Half the world’s animals have disappeared over the last 40 years

Last chance to see...

The Earth’s animal wildlife population has halved in 40 years
So here's why teenagers are always grumpy - and it's not what you think

Truth behind teens' grumpiness

Early school hours mess with their biological clocks
Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?

Hacked photos: the third wave

Why can no one stop hackers putting celebrities' private photos online?